PSP Association
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M, my ex has PSP. M & I have stayed friendly and fairly close raising our son, G, now 18. G visits M on some weekends and says: 'the father I knew is dead.' M's wife is a wonderful woman and we've conferred about dealing with the healthcare system.

I know I am on the outside and I respect that. But maybe because of our history and the connection of our son, I am concerned. They seem to be in a state of denial - they don't talk about PSP. We went to the appointment together - his wife wanted my support - and it was undeniable. But they don't acknowledge it. He's not on meds and the PSP is progressing rapidly - M is hardly mobile now, so dizzy. He just watches movies. He can hardly speak and his writing has stopped - used to be so lucid. His condition only started about a year ago.

Has anyone dealt with denial before and does it matter..? Maybe not...


6 Replies

Hi there. My mom was sooooooooo in denial when all of this started. My dad has psp. I would tell her things and she would ignore me. Like for instance, things he shouldn't eat....she would give it to him anyway. She would get mad when he would say mean things. I would tell her that he was unaware of his behavior but she didn't believe me.

I finally gave up telling her the reality and did what I needed to do to keep dad safe. Now, she is no longer in denial. She had to come to terms with it in her own time. Maybe your ex-husband and his wife find it easier to cope under the denial umbrella. I would be willing to bet they will snap out of it and face it head on!! Meantime, stay close and help when they ask.

All the best, MJ



Hi, I agree with MJ, my husband has psp, now into the 7th year. Both he and my son were in denial in the early stages but now we're so far down the line that they have accepted it.

The only thing you can do is give as much emotional and physical support as you can, it is very hard road.

take care and best wishes to you all



Thank you MJ and Dorothy...I will be here when they need. V


My wife was in denial at first. Here's how I addressed it. "We have opinions from two neurologists and they both say it is PSP". "Here are the symptoms: balance issues, small handwritting, issues swallowing, gait issues, dry eyes or watering eyes; wouldn't you agree that you have these symptoms?" I think if you find a list of the symptoms and then have the patient answer if they have the symptoms they would have to come out of denial. I do think that a second opinion is of great value to combat denial. We had two neurologists opinions and even then made an appointment at the University of Florida Neurological department and had them confirm. Eventually denial ended, it had to facing the opinions and matching of symptoms. There are no Meds for PSP or treatments. You can treat SOME of the symptoms but success may be short lived as the disease moves forward.



Thanks Jim

I am wondering what is the benefit of letting go of the denial...I wonder if the denial is better for them somehow - makes them happier for awhile?

Or is it better to face it so they can plan things out...they have many considerations about their home which is unfinished, their finances, care for him as his condition progresses...?

How was it better once your wife let go of the denial?



my dad is still saying he does not have psp, he blames hisdouble vision and blurry eyes on cateracts he falls here and there and that is blamed on his shoes he has on. I would let them be in denial they will come around. my dad has outbursts were he gets crazy looking and yells it only lasts a a couple of min. we confronted him about it and he got very mad saying he didnt do that or he would never act that way. he doesnt even know he does it. he stayed mad for a week there is a med. he can get for that but he says he is not going to the doc again there is nothing wrong. we decided to let him be the way he is denying it. I think sitting down and telling him everything would make it worse. some day hopefully he will come around and ask questions about psp and maybe he knows more than I think and just in denial


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